Meet students who have completed or entered the Teach in Five Program!

Sammi Frieri

Sammi standing in front of the Ithaca College fountains in her Ithaca College undergraduate commencement cap and gown.

Undergraduate Major: English

Undergraduate Minors: Education Studies, Honors

Graduate Major: Adolescence Education: English

Hometown: Nanuet, NY

The Teach in Five program has allowed me to continue my education in a community that I came to call home during my Undergraduate experience. After refining my skills in my content area and gaining a background in education, I now have the opportunity to pursue my professional certification. By continuing my studies at IC, I get to continue to work with professors who became strong mentors for me. I have the pleasure of continuing my involvement in communities that were so important to me for the last for years, including IC’s a cappella community. I continued my work with the Center for Student Success, which was a great source of pride for me as an Undergraduate, when I took on a Graduate Assistantship as a Near-Peer.

Teach in Five has given me a deeper understanding of myself as a lifelong learner, fostered my passion for education as activism, and given me opportunities to form relationships with students and local schools that I will keep with me for a lifetime. As a future educator, there is nothing more valuable than the things I have learned from my colleagues, mentors, and especially my students over my time in the program.

Julia Kucza

headshot of person

Undergrad Major: Music with an Outside Field in Elementary Education  

Graduate Major: Childhood Education 

Hometown: Northport, NY (on Long Island) 

I love the Teach for Five program because it gets us into classrooms and practical experiences right away. You start over the summer in some non-traditional spaces, and then start in the fall right away in a classroom! And once you start your Graduate coursework the June after you graduate from Undergrad, you are also challenged to push your own boundaries, in safe spaces that you feel supported in by your peers and professors. It’s a carefully crafted program that encourages self reflection, growth, and compassion! 

I wanted to become a teacher originally because I loved working with kids. I have quite a few younger siblings and cousins, and have always loved watching them grow through the years. Now, having spent time in the Ithaca College Education program, I realize that teaching can, and should, be so much more than just loving spending time with kids. It’s about learning with and about students to create a space where they can learn the skills they need, to one day change our world for the better. Teaching and education is about giving our students the tools they need to take our world, and make it better than we left it. 

Nicholas Thompson

person sitting outside with fountain in background

Undergraduate Major: Sound Recording Technology with a concentration in Drum Set studies

Undergraduate Minor: Mathematics

Graduate Major: Adolescent Mathematics Education 

Hometown: New Paltz, New York 

What I really liked about the Teach-In Five Program is how it allowed me to pursue different routes simultaneously! The decision to change my career path was quite puzzling to some; students entering a Sound Recording program don’t normally end up becoming mathematics educators by the time their journey has ended. But, it was because of this pathway that I was able to complete my music major, a mathematics minor, and the education prerequisites that I needed to apply for the MAT program. My passion for teaching came unexpectedly, but I have not regretted chasing after it. Not only do I want to share my love of math, but I want to help students find their passions and accomplish their dream as I did mine. I can use math to teach children about the complexities of our world and the inner workings of their minds through realistic problem-solving. The Teach-in Five pathway is what led to the realization that I can make my fantasies become my realities and even today, I'm still basking in the euphoria.

Anna Shelley

Person in college graduation attire standing in front of fountains

Undergrad Major: Speech Language Pathology and Audiology 

Undergrad Minor: Education Studies    

Graduate Major: Childhood Education (1-6)  

Hometown: Trumansburg, NY

What I like most about teaching is the relationships that I get to build with students! Students come into the classroom with unique strengths and needs, and as a teacher I get the opportunity to explore with the student what works for them and create an enriching educational environment where they can thrive. Watching students get excited about what they are learning is what motivates me to become a better teacher every day.

Building authentic and lasting relationships with students is empowering and rewarding and a major reason why I wanted to become a teacher! During my time in undergrad, I got to explore this through my minor in education studies. This allowed me to observe and participate in several local classrooms. Through this minor, I was able to experience what it felt like to be in a classroom. This is when I knew I wanted to become a teacher and decided to get my teaching certification in Childhood Education.

In graduate school, I had the opportunity to student teach in several different settings, which allowed me to explore my teaching preferences, styles, and approaches. These opportunities, along with the support of my mentor teachers, supervisors, and professors, allowed me to explore who I am as a teacher, a student, and a lifelong learner all at the same time. This program allowed me to become a teacher in just one year after graduating with my undergraduate degree! I am so excited to take what I have learned and apply it to my future classroom!

Liana Rodelli

college student standing in front of alumni building

Undergrad Major: Physics 

Graduate Major: Adolescent Physics Education

Hometown: Marlboro, NY

The primary reason I became a teacher is that I have been blessed with many supportive educators in my years of schooling. They have encouraged me, challenged me, and guided me in ways that have inspired me to become that person for others. I love teaching because each day I am learning. Students are constantly bringing with them new perspectives that motivate me to open my mind to different ways in which people experience the world and different ways that I can help others.  

What I like about the Teach in Five program is that it allowed me to begin my career as soon as possible, without having to balance being a novice teacher and being a master’s student at the same time. Another reason I like this program is that the faculty are exceptionally supportive and understanding. The fact that the program is accelerated can be overwhelming at times, however, the faculty was always willing to strategize and be compassionate in order to support me both academically and emotionally. Lastly, I love that the program has instilled in me the value of constant reflection and eagerness to be better and do better.